HondaJet Reaches Major Milestone, Takes to the Skies For the First Time

Honda successfully tested the company’s first business jet, flying near the Honda Aircraft headquarters located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The aircraft flew for 84 minutes after taking off from Piedmont Triad International Airport – and has the ability to fly at speeds up to 483 mph (773 km/h), with a maximum range of 1,357 miles (2,183km) and maximum altitude of 43,000 feet.

The jet has a number of custom features, such as over-wing engine mounting and a composite fuselage, with the company hoping to shake up the current small business jet market.

Here is what Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft CEO, said in a statement:

“With this first flight, the HondaJet program has entered the next exciting phase as we prepare for delivery.  This is an important achievement in bringing the world’s most advanced light jet to market.”

Initial research started in 1993, and the turbofan engine emerged in 1998, while the company wanted to enter commercial production in 2006.  However, numerous research setbacks caused delays, but there is still ample opportunity for the company to create success.

Looking ahead, Honda wants to qualify for aircraft certification and begin entry-level service in 2015.  The company is reportedly already in the final stage of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) testing right now.

Thank you to USA Today for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of HondaJet

Royal Air Force To Use 3D Printed Parts For Their Tornado Jets

3D printed things have been the thing since 3D printers came out. There is no limit, except your imagination of course, to what you can make with them. This apparently is also the case for the Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) which started using 3D printed parts for their Tornado jets. And no, this is not a joke.

This move has saved the RAF £300,000 and is said that it could save them million of pounds in the next three years. The parts printed out span from protective covers for cockpit radios to support struts on the air intake door, and even protector guards for Power Take-off shafts. BAE Systems is the responsible for printing out the parts for the RAF.

Up until now, four squadrons of Tornado GR4 aircraft received the 3D upgrade and it is reported that many of the parts cost less than £100 to manufacture, leading to an estimate of £1.2 million in savings by 2017.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33wIEBb9yoU[/youtube]

“You can manufacture the products at whatever base you want, providing you can get a machine there. If it’s feasible to get machines out on the front line, it also gives improved capability where we wouldn’t traditionally have any manufacturing support.” said Mike Murry, HEad of Airframe Integration at BAE Systems.

Thank you T3 for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of T3